More about Jeanne Demers
The Beginning (in case you missed it!)
My story begins in Maine.
Before I moved to New York City to become a stage actress, writer, cartoonist, arts educator, not-for-profit founder, reflexologist, writing mentor to girls, published author and illustrator…
Before all of that, I grew up in rural Maine. I was born second eldest of ten children. Ten. There were ten of us.
In my mind’s eye I have an image of my mother when I am a girl of 9 or 10. She is standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes. There is something radiating from her.
It’s neon sign strong and it gets inside of me. That is how, before I even know what a ‘worldview’ is I begin seeing through the lens of scarcity.
I was a girl with scarcity consciousness who dreamed of being a great somebody someday. As great as the great French stage actress, Sarah Bernhardt.
a little more…
At the Maine Mall I found the book, How To Break Into and Survive in the Theater. I bought it and treated it like the bible. I visualized and memorized everything it said.
It said if I were ever lucky enough to be cast in a production, I would earn so little money that I would have to have a day job, and that I would live in a small studio apartment in “the village” section of NYC where all the other struggling artists lived.
To 15-year-old me this sounded grand!
Dreams do come true and I grew up to be a struggling artist.
That I was a real life, working actor in New York made the struggling A-OK with me — though I often wished I’d spent my teen years visualizing a one-bedroom.
By the age of 30 I was ready to be done with the struggling, and to be – if not rich – at least not poor. I picked up Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad so that I, too, could learn from his rich dad what to do, and from his poor dad what not to do.
But his rich dad said something so appalling that I refused to believe he knew what he was talking about.
The rich dad told Robert that no matter how much a person made and saved, that person would end up back at the amount of money his “inner financial set point” was set at AND there was no changing that set point.
I flung the book across the room and set out to prove that stupid, rich dad wrong! But I didn’t. I proved him right.
Over and over again.
Skip ahead through lots of boom-and-bust, lots of striving-and-never-arriving, to the summer of 2015.
I’d just finished writing and illustrating the book FLAWD – How To Stop Hating On Yourself, Others and the Things that Make You Who You Are for Penguin-Random House with young anti-bullying pioneer, Emily-Anne Rigal. While writing the book I was living on Mousum Lake in Acton, Maine and from the outside my life looked idyllic. But the truth was, internally, I was suffering with hopelessness and helplessness.
My share of the advance money had been generous, but it was all gone. I was deeply in debt and nothing I was coming up with to build on having written a book that had been named by Oprah’s Book Club (alongside Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic) as “one of 6 self-help books that really help” was panning out.
My M.O.? Work harder, try harder, get even more creative, throw more spaghetti against the wall — something’s got to stick.
I was exhausting myself. And I was going down. Swimming alone in the lake one afternoon I thought how nice it would be if I could just will myself to drown.
It was disappointment and sorrow and being so sure that there was no way up and out.
Thankfully, as bottom-hitting will go, the very most right thing came along just when I needed it most. That thing was a webinar promoting the Tapping Into Wealth Coach Training Program. It came floating across my computer screen. It was all about how to use E.F.T. Tapping to uncover and clear money blocks.
Struck by inspiration, I took the very last $4000 available to me on my credit card — money I needed available to me for every other thing in my life — and enrolled in this coach training program. Not because I wanted to become a coach, but because the magical thinking went:
“Spending so much money on this will make me stick with it until all my money stuff is resolved.”
Impetuous? Irresponsible? Convoluted thinking? Oh, yeah. That was how I operated with money.
Thankfully, in this instance, it turned out well.
There are gifts within our toughest stuff. The gifts are Callings. The Calling in coming so close to bottoming out financially?
“Stop resisting looking at what scares you most!”
And when I stopped resisting… guess what?
I began to see — actually be able to see — the roots of the beliefs that were affecting my money.
And when I could see this, money went from feeling terrifying to just plain fascinating. And with Tapping, I had a tool to transform what I was finding.
The difference “being good at money” makes in a life is hard to quantify. It’s just enormous.
What I do to express my huge gratitude for the distance I’ve been able to travel in this area of my life is I share the work with others.
I LOVE SHARING IT!!
If you’re someone who’s ready to realize YOUR money goals, feel free to contact me. It would be an honor to help you take this particular journey.
Jean Cocteau Repertory
Immediately out of my acting conservatory training I get a job as a company member of the esteemed Jean Cocteau Repertory at the Bouwerie Lane Theater in NYC. I stay for five years.
The Cocktail Party
When you do classical theatre in rotating rep, you play a lot of different roles. Here I am playing Celia Copplestone in T.S. Elliot’s The Cocktail Party – one of my all time favorites.
One Person Shows
Out of heartbreak (musicians will do that) comes my first one-person show, Unanswered Letters: Excerpts from The Jeanne Books. It was about my tendency to be a fan… of everyone but myself.
The Poet-O Years
I meet Poet-O – an enchanting if paranoid schizophrenic street poet. In spite of our 50 year age difference, we are fast friends and spend a lot of time together. My one-person-show turns into the Poet-O & Jeanne Show.
The Hero’s Journey
After 15 years it’s time to leave NYC and I end up in Woodstock, NY. With the help of a dedicated group of 7th and 8th graders in Saugerties NY, I begin creating after-school programs based on the Hero’s Journey.
The Hero’s Journey
I align with the Center for Creative Education (CCE) to further develop the Hero’s Journey after-school programs and bring them into elementary schools throughout Dutchess and Ulster Counties, NY.
Insight Meditation Society
After completing a three month silent retreat at IMS in Barre, MA I decide “this is the life for me” and join their staff. I get to be part of the start-up team of the Forest Refuge for “sustained, longer-term retreat practice.”
The Ruby Books
Believing girl-energy to be some of the most potent stuff on the planet, I use the cartoon character I created – Ruby – to engage with girls online to help them “find, shape and share their great girl voices.”
I meet 15-year old Emily-Anne Rigal who uses her love of creating hilarious YouTube videos to start the anti-bullying movement, WeStopHate. I support her in getting her teen-esteem message out: “People who feel good about themselves don’t put others down.”
Girls Empowerment Network
I move to Austin, TX where I go into schools all over Austin. Here learning the “Break the Chain” and having conversations with the GEN Austin girls around stopping the violence women and girls endure.
I go to the Berlin-Brandenburg International School in Germany to work with girls who are part of “the global girl community.” Together we explore life as a heroic journey – and ourselves within it.
The impact of WeStopHate (over 1 million video views!) leads to a book deal. We co-author (and I illustrate!) FLAWD – How To Stop Hating On Yourself, Others and the Things that Make you Who You Are (Penguin Random House 2015)
Self Acceptance Skill Building
With Emily-Anne at St. John’s University in NYC equipping young women with skills to “bring kind attention to some of our most challenging self-talk.”
Step Up Mentorship
Presenting to Step Up’s college-bound high school girls and their mentors. Their trajectory is to “graduate high school confident on their way to joining the next generation of professional women.”
While housesitting for friends in the Hamptons I meet Richard – who turns out to be the love of my life. Within a year we’re married.